PHOENIX, Arizona, November 2. THE Beijing FINA World Cup kicked off today, marking the first stop of the final leg of the Circuit, conducted in Asia. Swimming World brought you live coverage of the event, both on our website and through our Twitter Feed @SwimmingWorld.
Katinka Hosszu kicked off the final's session with a win in the women's 800 freestyle, then missed the podium in her signature 200 freestyle event. Instead the win went to China's Yiwen Shao. Hosszu is nearing $50,000 in total race earnings, adding $3,000 on this first day. China's Ye Shiwen asserted her dominance in the 200IM, smashing last year's World Cup top time in the event and nearly touching the World Cup event record, set in 2009 by Evelyn Verraszto.
USA's Sean Mahoney outdistanced the competition in the men's 200 breaststroke, winning gold and a $2,500 check for his efforts. This was followed by everyone's favorite sprint IM event, which ended up being an exciting duel between Australia's Kenneth To and Trinidad and Tobago's George Bovell. Bovell was the reigning champion in the event from the Berlin World Cup meet, but it came down to the wire in Beijing, and To ended up out touching Bovell for the win.
Tomorrow is the second and final day of the two-day meet before competitors move to Tokyo for the second leg of the Asian tour. The sprint rivalry between the United State's Anthony Ervin and George Bovell will stir some excitement. The pair have been dueling wins back and forth, breaking records and lowering their world ranking in the process. Ervin set a new American record in the 50 freestyle in Berlin, so we can only look forward to continued excitement in Beijing.
In other news, we are several weeks into the college duel meet season. There are a number of exciting top-25 Division I match-ups over the weekend, the results of which will play into the school's rankings on the CSCAA board. Today, the Stanford men and women will host separate meets against Wisconsin, followed by the Stanford women taking on Texas Saturday. Across the Bay, the Cal Berkeley women will flip schedules with Stanford, having their shot at Texas today and Wisconsin on Saturday. The Cal men's team will also race against Wisconsin on Saturday. Another weekend meet involves currently first-ranked USC travelling to the great North West to take on Washington State.
On the East Coast, the Florida Gators host a duel meet against Texas A&M today, while the Auburn Tigers travel to Lexington, Kentucky to race the Kentucky Wildcats. Also taking place today is a SEC duel between Alabama and LSU.
In other college swimming news, this morning USC hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for their newly renovated Uytengsu Aquatic Center. The $16 million dollar renovations include a new stadium entrance, diving and dryland training area and renovations to the men's and women's locker rooms and offices. The facility is named after Fred Uytengsu, the 1983 USC captain who gave a generous donation to kick-start the renovating process. The pool will be re-named in honor of legendary coach Peter Dalan, who coached the Trojans from 1958 to 1992.
The college news continues as the Arizona State Sun Devils host their fifth annual Swim and Dive Team Gala. The Gala was first held as a fundraiser in 2008, after the men's swimming program was cut. Even after the program was re-instated through private funding, the Gala has become an annual tradition for the Sun Devils. This year's Gala will see the likes of Olympic gold medalist Nathan Adrian and USA Swimming National team members Charlie Houchin and Kaitlin Sandeno.
High School Championships are here for the state of Arizona. Swimming World will be in attendance this Saturday, November 3 at Skyline High School in Mesa, Arizona. We will be streaming live coverage of the men's and women's Division I and II finals sessions and interviewing the winners after each event. Check out our event landing page on SwimmingWorld.TV to find the live stream and archived races. The finals stream is in partnership with AIA365, and can also be found on their homepage aiaonline.org.